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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP practices ponder giant network in response to retirements

Eleven GP practices may start joint working so that patients unable to book an appointment at their usual practice will be referred to a less busy surgery in a different part of town.

The proposal is in response to GP shortages in the Gosport region, near Portsmouth, exacerbated by upcoming retirements of a number of doctors.

Patients at the 11 practices will be consulted on the plans via an online survey, which will ask whether they are comfortable with records being shared across the practices. It will also ask whether patients need longer opening hours and how difficult they find it to get appointments.

The practices are planning to deliver some services co-operatively. They are supported by Fareham and Gosport CCG, and Gosport Primary Care Alliance.

Dr Donal Collins, who chairs a steering group relating to the initiative, said: ‘We know that local people have told us they want to see GPs and other health and social care staff working more closely together and this is something we very much want to achieve too. People would like to access GP appointments more easily, and to have the choice of convenient alternatives such as telephone and online consultations.’

He added: ‘Establishing common ways of working and sharing expertise has to be in everyone’s interest. Our first stage has been for all 11 practices to agree a collective vision for an accessible, high quality and comprehensive health and social service for the people we serve.’

The news comes after BMA warned that over a third of GPs across the UK are considering retiring in the next five years.

Readers' comments (12)

  • You can only spread the jam so thin then there is no point having any jam in the first place.

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  • ALL this nonsense could be avoided if the fools in charge actually listened to those on the ground providing the service, day in and day out!

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  • solution

    - small private practices owned and staffed by GPs.
    - demand will be finally tackled.
    - those who can't pay will be treated by a smaller NHS service.
    - service can still be free at the point of access as payment can be via insurance or billing for services
    - no more QOF or government interference as we won't have to abide by government rules as the customer will not be the state.
    - if demand is high remuneration will be high this will be an incentive for youngsters to choose general practice and encourage retention
    - smaller list size i.e. control of workload

    there are many more advantages than disadvantages

    will we get to debate this - no and you know why.

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  • These alliances are headed by people sitting in CCGs and LMCs - this is certainly the case in the Southeast. Theirs are the Practices which are presently getting main funding and lucrative Contracts. Those joining will find themselves bullied in their own Surgeries after a while but then it will be too late to squirm out of the quicksand. Best of luck to those venturing into the death trap.

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  • anyone heard of the 16000 patient practice that is handing the keys back in essex - Information from BMA and LAT
    seems odd not widely known

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  • Sound like Essex is in a mess,but with the state of play where we are it will not take long for this crisis to be happening throughout the country.

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  • and who gets the qof points and who gets charged for a referral and whos drug budget gets charged............. the system is just too complicated.

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  • sounds a really sensible idea to look at. Obviously will be dismissed by posters on this site

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  • Yes like there are practices around us that have a lot of extra capacity for this. Dream on!

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  • The patient doesn't need to be seen probably in the first place. Tackle the roots, make a value on appointmenrs...but no - prevention is not better than cure is it?

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